Monday, February 9, 2009

God's cure for Selfish living

It was a hard Sunday for me as I buried a faithful mother of the church who loved her pastor and her church and served faithfully for over 60 years. In the short time I have been here, she had made a major impact on my life. I woke up Sunday listless and could not shake it; however God is gracious and He allowed us the strength to make it through.

We continued our series on the love chapter of I Corinthians 13 and we finished off verse 4 and delved into vs. 5 and 6. There are 8 things Love is and 8 things Love is not according to the text:

Love is: patient, kind, rejoices in truth, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, never fails.
Love is not: envious, boastful, prideful, rude, self-seeking, hold grudges, angry, delights in evil
This teaches us 4 things:
How to deal with others
How to deal with Life
How to deal with yourself
How to deal with God
Sunday we dealt with ourselves but therein lies the problem, many people don't know they are sick. They look fine, no symptoms, no cough, cold, aches or pain and yet they are dying everyday. What ails them is worse than hypertension, more invasive than cancer, has wiped out more generations than the Black plague or the Bird flu. It is called SELFISHNESS.

We are all infected. From the Pulpit to the Pew, from the Pastor to the parishioner, we all have this disease. Don't Believe me. Let's play a game! Go find a group photo somewhere that has you in it. The first time you looked at the picture, where did you look? Of course you looked at you, it's only natural right? Everyone else could look horrible in the picture but if you look good, smile right, hair perfect, you call it a good picture, even if everyone else looks a hot mess. You are infected.

Selfishness is an obsession with self that excludes others hurting everyone in the process, a divisive arrogance. It exists in the church and reigned at the Church of Corinth. They had the toddler laws which I call the church laws as they both fit:

If I like it, it's mine
If I can take it away from you, it's mine
If I had it a while ago, it's mine
If I say it is mine, it's mine
If it looks like mine, it's mine
If I say I saw it first, it's mine
If you are having fun with it, it's mine
If you lay it down, it's mine
If it is broken, IT'S YOURS

There is a cure for selfishness. It's found in the Bible. Forgive me as I was having a Warren Wiersbe moment and John Phillips' outline was wonderful so "I milk a lot of cows but I churn my own butter", this ain't mine but it was mine Sunday. We need a "B-6 Shot. B-6 is vitamin needed to maintain healthy living for the body. It does many things such as regulate your glucose(sugar) and it makes hemoglobin to carry oxygen to your tissues.

However one of its most important features is it aids the immune system to fight off infections. Whatever is in the body that does not belong, the white blood cells rush to fight off the infection and restore the body back to good health. Our Churches, our communities our culture needs a B-6 shot. Here is what the shot consists of:

Don't Be Envious- True love is not jealous over the abilities or possessions of others, love is pleased when someone else is doing well.
Don't Be Egotistical- It's Not About You, Love does not need to brag and start a parade in its honor. It does not have to draw attention to itself. It is not arrogant or proud.
Don't Be Eccentric- Love knows how to behave, this is love in action. It is not rude. Love controls the emotions, it is not friendly one day and rude the next.
Don't Be Exacting- Love is not selfish(seeking not her own) or self-centered. It never looks at itself first.
Don't Be Enraged-True Love does not keep record of evils done to it, and it only responds in anger to that which angers God which means everything else is handled in forgiveness.
Don't Be Evil-Minded-(thinketh no evil)Literally it means "TAKES NO WORTHLESS INVENTORY". Love does not believe all it hears about another nor does it look for fault in others. Loves does not gossip or rejoice when a believer falls but it rejoices when truth wins out.

As with all medicine, it is great in the bottle but it is better in the body, I said way too much, my apologies, time to run and study some more,



Ronald said...

Pastor Owens thank you for this post. Like all your other post, this post exposes your pastoral heart and that's a good thing. Continue Preaching Gods Word and Loving Gods people and watch the Holy Spirit grow your church exponentially, numerically, financially and spiritually... you get the point.

Your Cali Connection

Rev. Barney said...

God almighty!!! An old preacher once told me, "I don't mind if you use my switch to whip the devil." Preacher that just went into my file. That is a right now word if I eve heard one. You are mighty in the word.

Stay true to the word.

Pastor A. A. McGhee said...

Put the chair out. I'm coming to join. This series on love is a blessing and I am dining sufficiently.

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

If you are putting out one chair, you better put out another because I will not let McGhee come by himself.


Elderbc2 said...

Good post man. Keep on blessing South Bend like you did so tremendously here in OKC.